My friend Ed (that is Edna May but Ed fits her better) and I are on a jaunt of sorts across the western US giving away coffee and telling people how great it is. It is a promotional tour for Strong Tower Coffee, which by the way is some of the best coffee you’ll ever drink and you have the bonus blessing of knowing you helped out a group of really awesome kids at the same time. We have fun, Ed and I pretending that we are two old maids doing our required traveling, and denying the fact that it comes awfully close to the truth. This morning we discovered that we are left with an entire day with no place to go, thanks to a slightly unorganized overseer so we scrambled a bit and then set off to find cousin Verna. Ed’s cousin verna that is. I don’t even know her last name although I’ve met her different times, she’s always just been cousin Verna. Cousin Verna owns a store so we found her there, baking and ordering and doing who knows what else. Aunt Verna, Ed’s aunt Verna that is, was there too, making strawberry pies and baking cookies. we stayed at the store for an hour or so while cousin verna wrapped up her work and showed us her house, which she’ll be moving into shortly when she gets married. we spent several hours with her, coffee shop, the bank, Wal-Mart and touring her brother’s half finished house. Finally the word came through. Tomorrow’s duty is New York. Medina New York. We crawled into the mini van and started out. Little country roads turned into highways and we blindly followed the GPS with no idea where we where headed. I was in the middle of telling a random boring story when Ed suddenly broke in

“What’s that?” she asked pointing out the window.

I broke off mid sentence. “the ocean! I bet that’s the oceon! is that the ocean?” Ed just laughed and laughed. it was definitely not the ocean. She was quite sure of that but what it was exactly was hard telling. But she was going with Lake Erie. turns out she was right. it was lake Erie. I had a very strong feeling that we should get closer and Ed, being nearly as much of am adventure lover as I am, agreed. We left the highway and traveled for miles down a lovely country road lined with vineyards and fancy houses with little drives that said ‘private property and roads that were marked ‘club members only’. We abused the north and all they that dwell therein and looked upon the waters from afar. Eventually we came to a little town where we found a parking lot and a span of water we could actually get to.

We walked along the beach and dipped our toes into the sand, scaring the sea gulls and remarking upon the beautiful day. we didn’t stay long because it was a small area and the wind was cold. we tied our shoe strings climbed into the van and continued our journey. We bitterly discussed certain in laws who have gender-reveal parties when we aren’t home and felt very abused because they wouldn’t make up for it by telling us first. We agreed that it didn’t matter that much because of course it will be a girl. I was meanwhile randomly running my finger over the phone GPS and trying to make sense of the map in my unanalytical mind when I saw. “Ed! there’s Niagara falls! it’s not even far from where we are going!” We looked up, into each other’s eyes, and together we said “let’s go”. and, because it was only four o’clock and because we had nothing else to do, and just because we could, we did.

We trampled all over the park in a very disorganized manner and we were too late for the maid of the mist, and the trolley and the tour bus and pretty much everything else, but we saw the falls and we felt the spray upon our faces and that was enough. We left several hours later. tired and happy and quite proud of ourselves because we had seen Niagra falls and didn’t spend a cent. we didn’t even have to pay for parking because it was after 7 when we left.

We discussed our annoying families a bit further, including the fact that they still haven’t let us in on the gender secret in spite of the fact that we are the most important aunts. The answer was in photo, the thick layer of blue frosting proving both of us wrong.

We drive in silence, rearranging our minds. we found a motel with only a little difficulty, taking the risk in spite of some bad reviews. Our room is very nice and clean and we dumped our stuff and looked eagerly in the guidebook to find nearby restaurants. Both of us are starving, not having eaten a decent meal all day, and our eyes are glued on the list in front of us. We look up at the same time and together we said “pannera bread!” we took that as a sign and departed with no further delay. Vegetable soup and chicken flatbread has rarely tasted so good. We ate in silence. Food was all that mattered. We ended by buying a little bag of mini scones to take with us and now we are curled in our respective beds with cups of hot tea and orange scones. I sip kombucha. Ed is too chicken to try it, and besides she has to spend half the evening brushing her teeth so she doesn’t have time for such foolishness. Ed and I don’t agree very often but we’ve agreed on quite a few things today and now we agree on one more. It has been a good day, and that is enough


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